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article imageTanning industry is quick to blame Obamacare for closures

By Karen Graham     Aug 21, 2016 in Health
Rather than admit to health violations or refusing to follow state and federal rules governing tanning salons, the tanning industry has instead gathered in force to blame Obamacare for the closure of what they claim is 10,000 facilities across the nation.
To be more specific, the tanning industry is blaming a little-noticed 10 percent tax on tanning that the Affordable Care Act contains as being the main reason for the closing of close to 10,000 of the more than 18,000 tanning salons in the country, according to Fox News.
Of course, many people believe the industry is overstating Obamacare's impact on the tanning industry, pointing out that state and federal regulations restricting minors from using tanning salons, health violations, as well as public service announcements warning of the adverse health effects of using tanning salons have had the greatest impact on salon closings.
And there is the hint of political motivation that has been thrown into the mix. Many salon owners are saying the overhaul of the health care act will be on their minds come election day, citing the Republican "promise" to repeal the Affordable Care Act when and if they are elected.
"When I go to vote, I'm supporting candidates who are pro-business and who want less government involvement, less government regulation," said Chris Sternberg, senior vice president of Sun Tan City, a Louisville, Kentucky-based chain with nearly 300 salons in 22 states.
It does the heart good to know there are some tanning salon owners that really don't care about the health of their customers, putting profits before anything else. And what about the facilities that were shut down over health and safety code violations?
Tanning salons emerged in the 1980s in the United States  and researchers in the United States have ...
Tanning salons emerged in the 1980s in the United States, and researchers in the United States have been talking about tanning addictions -- dubbed "tanorexia" -- since the 2000s
Gerard Julien, Gerard Julien, AFP
In New York state in February this year, 42 tanning salons were cited for violations that included, "failing to warn patrons of the danger of overexposure to ultraviolet rays, failing to post signs that serving minors is prohibited, failing to test disinfectants and failing to have manufacturing manuals for UV devices on the premises," according to the report, says the New York Post.
And in a number of states, including New York, there have been violations that included using incompatible replacement lamps in the tanning beds, having broken timers that are meant to restrict the time spent tanning, and charging for the protective eye wear that is supposed to be issued free of charge, among other issues.
The tax is not meant to single out tanning salons or their customers. It is similar to the federal tobacco tax and is meant to discourage a practice that is known to cause cancer. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says those who use tanning beds before age 35 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, by 59 percent.
As a matter of fact, the National Tanning Training Institute has a web page devoted to the State and Federal Regulations governing laws that are supposed to be followed when operating a tanning salon. And for those who may doubt there are federal regulations governing the use of tanning beds, well, there is a website for that.
More about tanning industry, Obamacare, Closures, Fda, Health Violations
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